Friday, June 12, 2015

Jason goes to Docfest--Day 5

Last Monday started with a shorts program, Shorts 2: Don't Call it San Fran. Our local shorts.
BALANCING ACT: DeMarcello Funes is the son of African American and Honduran parents. He was the class clown, and now is becoming a professional clown. And tying the history of African American performance into his act.
FRAMED TARGETS: A local artist who uses concentric circles (even when they aren't actually concentric) artist Truong Tran creates an exhibit that highlights how artists have become targets in a rapidly changing San Francisco.
HOTEL 22: I've no seen this for a third time, after Cinequest and SFIFF. And it's still a sobering look at some of the poorest people in one of the richest parts of the country.
MONUMENTING: A look at the art and family business of gravestone carving.
NEW MISSION: A look at gentrification and the loss of community in the Mission District. Which is pretty sobering to watch at a theater in the Mission District.
OAK AND SCOTT: PAUSING AT HIGH SPEED: An intersection in the very center of San Francisco and not quite part of any of the established districts. But one with a long and interesting history. A popular bike route, the sight of a Freeway revolt (when they wanted to criss-cross SF with a network of freeways to enhance transportation,) diversity, gentrification, etc. Fascinating and very well made.
PERPETUAL ED: Ed is a musician facing a death sentence from disease. But he's still a cantankerous bastard who faces death with a wicked sense of humor.
TREASURE ISLAND: People now live on Treasure Island. Decades ago, when it was a naval base, radioactive material was disposed of there. That can't possibly be a problem, can it?
THE TYPIST: The man charged with typing up the discharge papers for gay soliders in the Korean War reflects on his time and on coming out of the closet later. Very fascinating.

Not included in the program, because Indiefest/Docfest is the kind of punk fly-by-your seats operation where things sometimes are missed: THE COLUMBARIUM (which I saw at Cinequest) and SUTRO WANTS MY BODY, which was made by Indiefest programmer Jeff Giordano with longtime Indiefest favorite Vincent Gargiulo (DULUTH IS HORRIBLE, THE MUPPETLESS MOVIE, FANTASTIC) and is available online here. But they might actually get their act together and play it on the big screen next Sunday, so don't click on that link.

And then I saw the feature 20 YEARS OF MADNESS. Back in the 90s, some high school friends got together and made a public access TV show called 30 Minutes of Madness. Weird skits, stunts, stupid stuff that high schoolers like, they did it all. And then the moved in together. And then they started fighting, split up, and went their separate ways. One of them--the ringleader, went off and eventually (after some false starts) eventually went to film school and is trying to make this his career. So he heads back home, looks up the old gang, gets them back together, and pitches them on the idea of making a new 30 Minutes of Madness. And you know the saying about the doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? They start fighting again, and the humor eventually gives way to something that's kind of uncomfortable to watch. Frankly, I'd rather go and watch their 90s videos than watch them fight today.

Total Running Time: 170 minutes
My Total Minutes: 399,876

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